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CONSOL Energy has donated $15 million over five
years to build the CONSOL Energy Bridge at The Summit Bechtel
Family National Scout Reserve. The bridge, more than 700 feet long
and rising 200 feet above a giant ravine, will connect the main
activity area to the eastern half of the property.
This one-of-a-kind bridge utilizes splayed
wooden piers to support the main cables. The timber poles fan out
radially to gently redirect the main cables. The resulting form is
reminiscent of feathers at an eagle’s wing tip.
By supporting the deck from the suspension
cables, it can be made level through the bridge length. This
ensures easy access for all visitors to the Reserve. Timber planks
comprise the walking surface allowing rainwater to drain through to
the forest floor below.
A unique set of secondary pathways are created
along the main cables with observation decks constructed between
the tops of the piers. Access points to these secondary walkways
are located at each end, below mid-span, and at each intersection
of the cables and deck.
The Consol Energy Bridge will go beyond simply
connecting two points to create a thrilling experience for the
Scouts that cross it. This iconic structure will be a physical
extension of the high adventure spirit of The Bechtel Summit.
The lightweight nature of this design promises
low impact to the surrounding natural elements. While blending
flawlessly into its environment, an efficient structure is
inherently sustainable with its modest use of materials. A low
consumption LED lighting system will be utilized to provide subtle
illumination at night.
Incorporating a variety of pathways into the
bridge design offers energetic users a myriad of options for
exploring the bridge and taking in the views of the valley. The
dipping cables at mid-span will skim over tree tops enabling users
to observe arboreal ecosystem from a unique point of view.
“This incredibly generous gift, both
figuratively and literally, will help carry us from our first
century of Scouting into the next 100 years,” says Chief Scout
Executive Bob Mazzuca. “We can all look forward to the day when
Scouts will cross this new span to take part in bold new programs
that will ultimately transform them from boys into men.”
J. Brett Harvey, president and CEO of CONSOL,
has a long history with Scouting as a local volunteer and member of
the BSA’s National Executive Board, the BSA National Foundation,
and the 2010 jamboree committee. He is serving as chairman of Arrow
WV Inc., the BSA subsidiary charged with developing the new
high-adventure base that will open for the 2013 jamboree.
Reference material from Official 2013 National Jamboree Facebook
2013 National Jambo Group
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